Saturday, May 21, 2005

Years ago, when I stilled dabbled in fiction and harbored delusions of a literary lifesyle, I wanted to write a story about a man whose whole goal in life was to write "choose your own adventure" books for grownups. His problem, the source of all of his grief, was the sad fact that no one wanted to buy his books because adults don't want to go on adventures. I've since met many, many adults who love adventures, but the sketch of this guy has stayed in the corners of my brain ever since.

I've made plans for many different lifestyles over the years. I was to be a ballerina--no, an underwater archaeologist--no, a teacher--no, an editor, and I had everything worked out for all of them. In the end, I'm hard pressed to be anything but samantha, and too busy to worry about all the other versions I'm missing out on. I make it from day to day and that's pretty much as far as I get.

Spaulding Gray told us that it was almost impossible for him not to tell everyone everything. I'll be back in Florida in a few days, but the Florida I return to isn't a place of breezy palm trees and quaint alligators. It's a place where too much dirty water has gone under too many rickety bridges, a place where little feels clean anymore. It tears at my fingers, the past does, and yet I do not tell you about it because in the end I am not very brave. I spend too much time being grateful for things and not enough acting grateful for them, too much time trying to blame a child for the actions of adults.

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